Sadly, the summer is almost over. Most kids have gone back to school and the weather is slowly cooling down for the fall season. Many believe that this summer’s movie season was one of the weakest in the past couple of years, but we think otherwise. It was chocked full of fascinating independent movies and stupidly fun popcorn flicks that hit our sweet spot. So let’s reflect on some of the best and worst movies of the summer.
Note: It’s nearly impossible to see every single movie that’s released, so a couple of films that have been critically praised are missing from this list. This is my list, but I’ve seen a lot.
#5: The Campaign
The Campaign was a surprise to us, mainly because of how much director Jay Roach and company hit this comedy out of the park. Good political comedies are really hard to come by, so I went into this movie with low expectations. There was a surprising amount of heart injected into the solid story along with great performances out of both Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Come to think of it, now we want to watch it again.
#4: For A Good Time, Call…
This movie comes out this weekend, but we love it. For A Good Time, Call… is adorable, is drenched with witty and naughty humor with a sweet friendship story bow wrapped around it. Ari Graynor shines in this picture and it opens this weekend in limited release. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
#3: The Avengers
Thank goodness for action-packed popcorn flicks like The Avengers to make our summer movie going that much sweeter. This bad boy paved the way for the summer season, and did it with a bang that shows in its box office numbers. We got to see our favorite Marvel superheroes team up together in what turned into an onscreen explosion of amazement conducted by Joss Whedon.
Oh Laika, we do like you (sorry). Their latest crown jewel is the delightful stop-motion animated feature ParaNorman. The movie teaches a good lesson to the kids all the while dazzling us with beautiful animation, a solid story and easily one of the coolest scores of the year. This is also one of the few movies where the 3D actually works – if you can get the chance to watch it in said third dimension than do it. We love ParaNorman so.
#1 Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson has done it again. By doing it again, we mean that he captivated audiences with his very sweet, innocent and loving tale of two young lovebirds trying to stay together despite the odds in Moonrise Kingdom. This movie has everything: from its cute story, eccentric cast and that Wes Anderson cinema magic that he’s imprinted on all of his films. Though his his early works have already been saluted as masterpieces, this could be his best film yet. We’ll keep watching it to be sure.
#5: The Amazing Spider-Man
Once in a while we’ll come across a superhero movie that doesn’t really show any justifiable reason as to why it was made (other than to hold onto the rights). One such example is The Amazing Spider-Man, a drawn-out tale of our favorite web-slinging hero’s origin story that we saw merely a decade ago. The only redeeming parts of this film are the performances by actors Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but the movie falls flat. There are so many story loopholes in this cinematic mush that after awhile you just tune out. If you really want to see Spider-Man either pick up a comic (Ultimate Spider-Man will do right now) or re-watch the first movie again. Not this.
#4: The Bourne Legacy
Speaking of films with rather unexplainable story points, let’s dive into The Bourne Legacy. This time around we’re following the baby blue-eyed Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he desperately tries to get his hands on some of his special medication. Why? We’re not entirely sure, but that’s pretty much his only objective. They try to go and explain a number of other possible plot points as well but by the middle of the film you’re just flat out lost. What makes it even worse is that when you’re edging towards what you believe to be the end of the second act then the movie cues the music and ends abruptly. We weren’t sure what we saw from The Bourne Legacy but it certainly wasn’t engaging enough to keep us alert.
#3: Dark Shadows
Me oh my, sometimes it’s tough to clean up a mess. But when you’re trying to cram several seasons worth of a supernatural soap opera into a two hour movie, that’s a tough task. And Dark Shadows is one of the sloppiest Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movies to ever grace the big screen. It suffered from trying to explain so much but still telling so little of any form of a coherent story. The characters were dull, but the only thing we loved about it was the production design. Now good job on that, but Dark Shadows should have been turned into a revived television series, not a movie.
#2: Rock of Ages
You wanna rock? Okay then, but not to this. Rock of Ages is one of the most obnoxious musicals to grace the big screen in the past few years. Sure, they may have a number of catchy songs sprinkled into their soundtrack, but that’s about it. What you get is a poor movie translation of what is supposed to be a ridiculously entertaining Broadway musical. Sometimes they should just keep these plays on stage or, I don’t know, just turn it into the Stacee Jaxx story since they were so ridiculously focused on Tom Cruise‘s character instead of the real main characters.
#1: That’s My Boy
Oh boy. In order to stomach this movie you’ll pretty much need somebody to strap you into your seat and make sure you don’t move for the duration of the film, because That’s My Boy is painful to sit through. What you get is one of the worst comedies of this year. It holds every Adam Sandler movie trope that you’re used to seeing but annoyingly amplified to the umpteenth degree. It’s okay Andy Samberg, we forgive you for this one.
What were your best and worst of the summer?